Thursday, January 15, 2009
14:14 Mecca time, 11:14 GMT      
News Europe
UK minister attacks 'war on terror'
Miliband has called for a rethink
on the "war on terror" [AFP]

David Miliband, the British foreign minister, has called for a rethink on the 
strategy against terrorism, saying the "war on terror"  may have caused "more 
harm than good".

In an opinion piece in the British daily The Guardian on Thursday, Miliband 
said the expression used by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks on 
the US was "misleading and mistaken".

"The idea of a 'war on terror' gave the impression of a unified, transnational 
enemy, embodied in the figure of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The reality is 
that the motivations and identities of terrorist groups are disparate.''

Miliband delivered a speech on the same topic in the Indian city of Mumbai on 

He called for the closure of the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the 
launch of new era of "democratic opportunity rather than fear and oppression".

'Fundamental look'

"Democracies must respond to terrorism by championing the rule of law, not 
subordinating it,'' he said.

According to his article, a "fundamental look" is needed at how to prevent 
extremism and "terrorist violence".

"Since 9/11, the notion of a 'war on terror' has defined the terrain. The 
phrase had some merit: it captured the gravity of the threats, the need for 
solidarity, and the need to respond urgently - where necessary, with force," he 

"But ultimately, the notion is misleading and mistaken. The issue is not 
whether we need to attack the use of terror at its roots, with all the tools 
available. We must. The question is how."

Britain, under Tony Blair, the former prime minister, was America's closest 
ally in  "anti-terrorism" operations but the US-led invasion of Iraq to oust 
Saddam Hussein caused a backlash against Blair in Britain.

Most of the remaining British troops in Iraq are set do be withdrawn this year 
but Britain still has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan.
 Source:     Agencies

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